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Decline in US wind generation raises bigger concerns than El Niño

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read


illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Financial Times or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: U.S. wind power generation decreased last year for the first time since the 1990s, primarily due to slower wind speeds attributed to a strong El Niño event
• This dip raises significant concerns beyond just natural variability, as it occurs during a critical time of transition and growth in the country's energy sector

🔭 The context: Despite the decline, wind energy remains a crucial part of the U.S. energy mix, supported by recent policy measures under President Biden’s administration
• However, the shift in renewable development focus from wind to solar, challenges in transmission capacity, and the aging grid infrastructure present ongoing hurdles

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Wind energy's variability and recent underperformance highlight the challenges of relying solely on renewable sources for grid stability and meeting increasing power demands, especially with rising sectors like AI processing centers

⏭️ What's next: The transition to renewable energy continues with a growing emphasis on enhancing grid infrastructure and increasing battery storage to accommodate fluctuations in wind and solar output
• The development trajectory may see solar power gaining prominence over wind due to fewer construction challenges and faster growth rates

💬 One quote: "I’m more concerned that when we have the wind available, we are not taking full advantage of the wind energy... because of our lack of infrastructure." – Jeff Clark, President of the Advanced Power Alliance

📈 One stat: Wind power output fell roughly 2% overall last year, with key states like Iowa experiencing an 8.5% drop

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